Men’s tennis earns wins in multiple tournaments
Men’s tennis competed in the Battle in the Bay Classic and the Milwaukee Tennis Classic over the weekend, finishing a successful first few days of competition for the fall season.
No. 2 seed junior Stefan Dostanic took home the first-place trophy in San Francisco, and No. 5 seed sophomore Lodewijk Westsrate finished in second place.
“Getting wins or just getting match experience right now is just, in a lot of ways, super important,” head coach Brett Masi said in an interview with the Daily Trojan. “This isn’t the end all be all, but it’s really nice that we’ve got some early success to start the season.”
Last year, the Trojans won the Pac-12 Championship and lost to Texas in the quarterfinal of the NCAA tournament.
In addition to singles tournaments, USC put forward two doubles pairs in San Francisco and one double pair in Milwaukee. In the Bay, Dostanic paired up with senior Bradley Frye, and junior Samuel Rubell partnered up with graduate student Paul Barretto. In Milwaukee, Weststrate teamed up with freshman Peter Makk.
Following two victories in the rounds of 32 and 16, Dostanic played in Friday’s quarterfinal against Pepperdine senior Tim Zeitvogel, beating him in two sets, 6-4, 6-4. In Saturday’s semifinal, Dostanic handled Texas Christian University’s Lui Maxted with ease, 6-3, 6-2. The victory sent Dostanic to the championship where he faced off against fellow Trojan Frye.
“I did a good job of not giving a lot of free points and just locking down and making sure I wasn’t making too many mistakes,” Dostanic said. “As long as [my teammates] see me putting in extra hours, they know they can also do the same thing and also have good results this year and in the years moving forward.”
Frye advanced to Friday’s quarterfinals to face TCU’s Luc Fomba, the 2021 Big 12 Player of the Year. After dropping the second set, Frye took down Fomba in three, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, to advance to the semifinals. In another hard-fought, three-set match, Frye overcame Berkeley’s Philip Hjorth 4-6, 7-5, 7 (9)-6 (7), to meet teammate Dostanic in the semifinals.
In the Battle of the Bay Classic single’s championship, Dostanic took down Frye in two sets 6-4, 7 (7)-6 (2).
Rubell was taken out in the round of 32 by Texas graduate student Richard Ciamarra.
In Milwaukee, two underclassmen Trojans competed for a championship.
Fifth-ranked Weststrate advanced to the quarterfinals after two victories Saturday in the rounds of 32 and 16. In Sunday’s quarterfinals, Weststrate took to the court against Harvard senior Brian Shi. After losing 6-0 in set one, Weststrate fought back and defeated Shi in three sets, winning the last two 7-6 (7), 6-2.
In his second match on Sunday, Weststrate faced No. 5 seed Pepperdine senior Daniel De Jonge, winning 7-6 (6), 6-3.
In Monday’s championship match, Weststrate was the underdog set to match up against Harvard sophomore No. 3 seed Henry von der Schulenburg. Weststrate fell short of the title, losing in two sets 6-3, 6-2.
In the Bay, championship opponents and No. 1 seed doubles team Dostanic and Frye advanced to the finals. Rubell and Barretto, on the other hand, fell short of their goal, losing to Texas sophomore Micah Braswell and Ciamarra, 8-5.
The championship, however, was where the Trojan pair of Dostanic and Frye saw their run come to an end. The duo was ultimately defeated by California senior Yuta Kikuchi and freshman Carl Emil Overbeck by a score of 8-3.
“We know we’re a good team when we’re playing well,” Dostanic said. “We know that we can beat anyone else in the country when we’re locked in and really playing our best.”
The young duo of Weststrate and Makk failed to make it past the round of 16 in Milwaukee, falling to Louisiana State University’s sophomore Ronald Hohmann and junior Boris Kozlov.
Following an impressive first-round win, Makk’s USC debut was cut short after a loss in the second round to Oklahoma junior Mark Mandlik.
“I think guys are happy to now be competing and know that there will be people at matches and there will be other energies from the crowd to feed off of,” Dostanic said. “I think everyone’s just super excited for that.”
The Trojans will look to build on their initial success in the Southern Intercollegiate Championship beginning Sept. 24 in Athens, Ga.